Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has named 25 players in his provisional squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Burundi and Ivory Coast.

The coach has retained most players who triumphed at the four-nation tournament in Malawi in March while calling up some new faces.

Among the new faces is Kenya Police defender Brian Okoth, who has stood out in the local league. Gor Mahia’s Austine Odhiambo, who has the most assists in the FKF Premier League this season, has also earned a call-up.

Additionally, the coach has summoned Tobias Knost, who plies his trade in Germany with SV Verl and Bruce Kamau, who features for Perth Glory in Australia.

Adam Wilson, who plays for Bradford City in England, has also earned a maiden national team call-up.

Duke Abuya and Elvis Rupia also return to the fold after missing the team’s last assignments at the four-nation tournament in Malawi.

Squad Preparation & Match Dates

The team starts preparations for the qualifiers tomorrow, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Nairobi.

Kenya plays Burundi on June 7, 2024, before facing the reigning Africa Cup of Nations winners, Ivory Coast, on June 11, 2024.

Ahead of the crucial matches, the team shall tentatively depart for Malawi on June 2, 2024.

Also read: Harambee Stars are the Four Nations Tournament Winners


Despite being the home team, Harambee Stars shall play both matches at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi.

This move has been occasioned by the unavailability of the Nyayo National Stadium and the Kasarani Stadium, the only stadiums in Kenya provisionally approved by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to host international matches.
Both are under renovation ahead of the 2024 African Nations Championships (CHAN) and the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which Kenya shall jointly co-host alongside Tanzania and Uganda.

“We did our best to have a venue close to Kenya. We got in touch with the Federations of Tanzania and Uganda, but it was impossible to get a venue there because they are booked,” said FKF President Nick Mwendwa.

“Every team always wishes to play their home matches at home. This is something I would not have wanted (to play home matches away from home). Nonetheless, I am appealing to Kenyans to remain positive and support the team,” added the FKF President.

Also read: Harambee Stars Stellar Victory Propels Them to Position 3 in Group F Standings

Qualification Format

Kenya currently sits third out of six in Group F of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, having picked up three points from the opening two matches against Gabon and Seychelles.

Only the top team in the group, which comprises Ivory Coast, Gabon, Burundi, The Gambia, Seychelles, and Kenya, will qualify for the 48-team World Cup, which will be played across 16 cities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Four of the best runners-up from the nine groups will also get a lifeline in a playoff that will determine CAF’s representative in the Inter-confederation playoffs involving six teams, which will decide the last two FIFA World Cup berths.

Provisional Squad


Patrick Matasi (Kenya Police), Byrne Odhiambo (Bandari), Boniphas Munyasa (Muranga Seal), Ian Otieno (Zesco, Zambia)


Johnstone Omurwa (Estrela, Portugal), Alphonse Omija (Dhofar-Oman), Amos Nondi (Ararat, Armenia), Brian Okoth (Kenya Police), Abud Omar (Kenya Police), Tobias Knost (SV Verl, Germany)


John Ochieng (Zanaco, Zambia), Eric Johanna (UTA, Romania), Adam Wilson (Bradford City, England), Anthony Akumu (Unattached), Kenneth Muguna (Kenya Police), Kaycie Odhiambo (AFC Leopards), Chrispine Erambo (Tusker), Rooney Onyango (Gor Mahia), Ayub Timbe (Sabail, Azeberijan), Duke Abuya (IHEFU, Tanzania), Bruce Kamau (Perth Glory, Australia)


John Avire (El Sekka El Hadid SC, Egypt), Austine Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Benson Omala (Gor Mahia), Elvis Rupia (IHEFU, Tanzania)

Also read: Junior Starlets Triumph Over Ethiopia to Move Closer to Historic World Cup Qualification